What's the Bush ,Taylor,Doyle,Burr Administration done for you lately? If you are a Veteran, then you owe it to yourself to join NC Vets Caucus @ http://ncvets.org/
It is time for all Democratic Veterans to come together, as one strong unified voice for the common good!! If you are not a Vet, then pay a sneak visit to your local VA sometime.
Story here... http://www.recordonline.com/archive/2006/03/11/news-vwvet1-03-11.html
Vietnam vets face struggle to survive
Some are living in woods, cars By Victor WhitmanTimes Herald-Recordvwhitman@th-record.com
Monticello - Vietnam vet John Venticinque once dodged bullets for his country. Now he's dodging cockroaches in a flea-bag motel in Monticello, stuck living for months in Room 103 because he can't find a place to stay in Sullivan County.
"I'm homeless, I'm homeless... Here I am stuck in this rat-infested place," said Venticinque, a 55-year-old Army soldier who saw combat action and came home traumatized.Venticinque is like hundreds of the 55,000 veterans in the Hudson Valley and Catskills, according to local agencies.
One veteran is living at the dorm for employees at the Monticello Raceway. Another veteran wanders down Broadway. Vets are camping in the woods. Vets are living with their brothers and sisters because they can't afford rents. Veterans Affairs did a survey around Ellenville and Kingston and found 81 vets living in cars, motels or on the street. Orange County has counted 60 homeless vets.
Last year, Sullivan County's social services counted six veterans living on public assistance in motels and about 100 vets on Medicaid. But the head of Sullivan County's veterans services says that doesn't tell the story of how many are struggling.
"They are too proud to say they are hurting, a lot of them," Veterans Services Director Eric Nystrom said.In Sullivan, vets are competing for affordable housing units with hundreds of others.
Some 302 people are on the waiting list for HUD apartments; 213 people are waiting for Section 8 vouchers with the Monticello Housing Authority. A significant number who do have Section 8 vouchers can't find a place.In Sullivan, social services has put up 47 individuals and 29 families in motels.
The county pays a premium for these rooms. In Venticinque's case, the county is paying $1,200 a month for Room 103 at the Raceway Motel, about half the size of a living room with dirt stains on the walls and cockroaches running along the carpet.
"What it comes down to is that the only option that we have are the motels," Family Services Commissioner Greg Feicht said. "In many cases, people are at their rope's end. We try to provide them with a warm place where they can access food. We do our best to get them out of there as soon as we can." The outlook for vets could marginally improve this year. In Orange, 19 units for homeless veterans are coming on line in Newburgh.
In Monticello, a developer has submitted plans for a $1.1 million, eight-unit complex for vets age 55 and older, but that project still needs financing. "I have practically given up," said Venticinque, standing by a cardboard box of possessions in his motel room.
He served near Hue, the site of ferocious battles, in Vietnam from 1968 to 1970. Venticinque says he is still troubled by post-traumatic stress disorder brought on by what he saw there.
Nowadays he takes a public assistance van to the VA hospital at Castle Point. He looks for an apartment. And he tries not to come back home to Room 103 until the traffic and shouting coming through the paper-thin walls quiets at night.
"Used with permission from the Times Herald-Record, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc